**Johann Friedrich Pfaff**
(sometimes spelled **Friederich**; born Stuttgart, 22 December 1765, died Halle, 21 April 1825) was a German
mathematician. He was described as one of Germany's most
eminent mathematicians during the 19th century. He studied

integral calculus, and is noted for his
work on

partial
differential equations of the first order (

Pfaffian systems as they are now called)
which became part of the theory of

differential forms; and as

Carl Friedrich Gauss's formal research
supervisor.

Pfaff was a student of

Abraham
Kaestner, and became the precursor of the German school of
mathematical thinking, which under Gauss and his followers largely
determined the lines on which mathematics developed during the
nineteenth century.

He knew Gauss well, when they both lived
together in Helmstedt in 1798. August MÃ¶bius was later a student of
him.

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